Universal McCann is a global media and advertising agency. UM is a member of Interpublic Group, operating under the IPG Mediabrands branch. Some of its regional offices are known as Universal Media rather than Universal McCann but are still generally all known as UM.
UM was established in 1999 as part of McCann Worldgroup, but its roots go back to 1902 when Alfred Erickson founded Erickson Company.
Harrison King McCann’s agency, founded in 1912, evolved independently from Erickson’s. In 1930, H.K. McCann Company and Erickson Company merged to form McCann Erickson, a $15 million agency with Erickson as its chair and McCann as its president. After winning the Ford Motor Company account in 1933, the agency continued to acquire agencies and accounts including Coca-Cola. By 1957, McCann Erickson was the first US agency to top $100 million annually in TV and radio billings.
Marion Harper, who replaced McCann as President-CEO in 1948, went on to create Interpublic Group in 1960, as the first marketing services management holding company. In 1971, Interpublic Group went public as IPG, and by 1972 was the largest agency in non-US billings. Today, IPG operates in over 100 countries, employs 41,800 marketing professionals, and generates revenue of US $6.5 billion.
By 1993, McCann Erickson was the number one agency in the world. As the advertising industry began to integrate its services, McCann Erickson underwent a reinvention to form a consolidated agency network and launched McCann Worldgroup in 1997. Today, McCann Worldgroup oversees FutureBrand, McCann, McCann Healthcare Worldwide, Momentum Worldwide, MRM//McCann, UM, Weber Shandwick, and Craft Worldwide
UM was originally launched by McCann Worldgroup as worldwide media buying arm, operating as a separate yet interdependent unit. When IPG formed Mediabrands in 2008 to oversee its media agencies and enable performance across multiple media platforms, UM, today a global full-service media agency, was included under the Mediabrands umbrella along with its agency partners Initiative, BPN, Orion Holdings, and ID Media, in addition to Mediabrands' specialty services Magna Global, IPG Media Lab, Shopper Sciences, Ensemble Branded Content, Identity, and Mediabrands Audience Platform, which comprises Cadreon, Reprise Media, Ansible, Initiative Media and Spring Creek Group.
UM employs over 4,800 employees in its more than 130 offices in over 100 countries worldwide. UM's global headquarters is in New York with six other locations in North America: Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Toronto. UM has regional offices in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. UM has created a cluster structure which assembles countries by business similarities rather than by geographical locations. In this structure, there are three main market segments. This approach supports a consistent product across markets, centralizes teams, and reduces operational costs.